Commissioners cut fairgrounds donation

CREEDE— Citing concerns about the rodeo company historically bringing the event to Creede, Mineral County Commissioners cut a $1,500 funding request to $1,000 at last week’s meeting.

The Mineral County Fairgrounds Association typically requests $1,500 in funding from the county as part of operating costs in order to host the Burris and Sons Rodeo.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Jesse Albright said he had a difficult time donating funding that would go to Burris and Sons because he feels that the owner, Shane Burris, is not a good role model for Creede.

“I think you already know how I feel on the subject,” Albright said. “Last year was a struggle for me with the face of the rodeo, the type of person we were supporting as a county.”

Representatives from the Mineral County Fairgrounds were notified that a discussion pertaining to the funding request would be taking place that day, but due to unclear circumstances, were unable to attend. It was reported that during discussions with fairground representatives in the past they agreed to look into other companies that might be able to offer a better show for the Creede Chute Out event.

“In that discussion, they indicated they would look into other possibilities, get information on other rodeos and nothing has ever been turned in,” said Albright.

One of the members of the audience spoke up and asked if commissioners were concerned about the fact that Burris was actually on the fairground board.

“I understand Commissioner Albright’s concerns, I really do, but there are very few small rodeo companies to choose from,” Commissioner Ramona Weber said. “I do know the positives it is doing for our community. “The attendance is phenomenal in the summer and engages the youth in outdoor activities and I think that is a really healthy thing for them to do regardless of who’s in charge

Albright agreed that it was the rodeo itself that is a huge benefit to Creede and did not want to take that away, only wished that the fairground board would have taken steps to show initiative in possibly finding another small rodeo.

“You talk about the face of that rodeo and he is a role model to the kids and that is where my concern lies,” Albright said. “I want my concerns on the record and I want them to know that they need to come talk to us.”

“I was not aware that Burris was on the board and that is a conflict of interest at the very least,” Commissioner Scott Lamb said. “I do not believe that we want to control policy.”

Weber made a motion to donate a portion of the requested funding, stating that because of these concerns they would not give the full amount. The motion was seconded by Lamb, while Albright remained opposed. A donation in the amount of $1,000 was approved.

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